Invasion! #2: Battle Ground Earth

  • Writers: Bill Mantlo and Keith Giffen
  • Pencillers: Todd McFarlane and Keith Giffen
  • Inkers: Joe Rubinstein, P. Craig Russell, Al Gordon, and Tom Christopher
  • Colorist: Carl Gafford
  • Letterers: Agustin Mas and John Costanza
  • Cover Penciller: Bart Sears
  • Cover Inker: Joe Rubinstein
  • Editor: Andrew Helfer

Cover: From left to right are Martian Manhunter, Wonder Woman, Captain Atom and Firestorm all hoisting the United Nations flag in the style of the famous Iwo Jima photograph.

Page 1 – Panels 2 and 3: The invasion of Australia was covered in the previous issue.

Page 1 – Panel 6: The battle beneath the arctic ice was covered in DOOM PATROL #17 as part of the First Strike crossovers.

Page 1 – Panel 8: The appointment of the named characters was covered in various issues in the First Strike crossovers.

Page 2: There seems little point in going over these panels as they list the various member races of the Alien Alliance.

Page 3 – Panel 1: Aquaman taking part in the battle mentioned above.

Page 3: Panel 3 – the death of Celsius

Page 3 – Panel 2: The death of Celsius in the same battle.

Page 3 – Panel 3: Robotman holding the corpse of Celsius with (probably) Scott Fischer in the bottom right.

Page 3 – Panel 4: The Atom as shown in POWER OF THE ATOM #7.

Page 3 – Panel 5: Starman . . .

Page 3 – Panel 6: . . . Firehawk . . .

Page 3 – Panel 7: . . . and Firestorm as seen in STARMAN #5.

Page 3 – Panel 8: Animal Man as seen in ANIMAL MAN #6.

Page 4 – Panel 1: Wonder Woman as seen in WONDER WOMAN #25.

Page 4 – Panel 3: Oberon as seen in JUSTICE LEAGUE INTERNATIONAL #22.

Page 4 – Panel 4: Extrano as seen in NEW GUARDIANS #6.

Page 4 – Panel 5: Captain Atom as seen in CAPTAIN ATOM #24.

Page 4 – Panel 6: Flash and, on the floor, Chunk as seen in FLASH #21.

Page 4 – Panel 7: Manhunter as seen in MANHUNTER #8.

Page 5 – Panel 2: No comment about the upswing in enlistment growth other than to ask why the chart has a vertical axis with a scale in increments of 89? Why not in increments of 100?

Page 5 – Panel 3: Superman called a ceasefire in THE ADVENTURES OF SUPERMAN #449.

Page 6: Super summit! Click to enlarge.

Page 6: The super summit that most everyone made their way to at the end of the First Strike crossovers. On the platform in the bottom left, clockwise from the top, are General Eiling; Captain Atom; Amanda Waller; a technician; another technician who, with the glow around him, is almost certainly Deadman; Oberon; and Max Lord.

Those heroes on the ground can be seen numbered in the picture on the left; many of them are little more than sketches with a few characters being miscoloured making identification difficult. Any you can identify (or if I have any wrong) please use the Contact Me page. Otherwise, the key is as follows:

1) A random Rocket Red 2) possibly Animal Man 3) Hawkwoman 4) another Rocket Red 5) unknown 6) Spider-Man! 7) Peacemaker 8) unknown 9) possibly Mr Bones 10) unknown 11) Nemesis 12) Nightshade 13) Kilowog 14) Dr Light 15) unknown 16) Scott Fischer 17) Lodestone 18) Morozko 19) Duchess 20) Count Vertigo (based on proximity to other Suicide Squad members) 21) Robotman 22) Vikhor 23) unknown 24) Spectre 25) unknown 26) another Rocket Red 27) unknown 28) Obsidian 29) Firestorm 30) unknown 31) unknown 32) Batman 33) possibly Deadshot 34) a miscoloured Chunk 35) Swamp Thing 36) Manhunter 37) unknown 38) possibly Nightshade 39) possibly Ice 40) unknown 41) possibly Rocket Red of the JLI 42) Adam Strange 43) unknown 44) unknown 45) unknown 46) Mr Miracle 47) Blue Beetle 48) Ambush Bug 49) Aquaman 50) Extrano 51) Hawk 52) Martian Manhunter 53) unknown 54) Guardian 55) Wonder Woman 56) Power Girl 57) Wildcat 58) another Rocket Red 59) unknown 60) Nuklon 61) Guy Gardner 62) Dove 63) Black Orchid 64) Hawkman 65) Question 66) unknown 67) Negative Woman 68) Starman 69) G’nort 70) Wild Dog 71) Creeper 72) possibly the Flash 73) Hal Jordan 74) Katana 75) unknown

Page 7 – Panel 3: Martian Manhunter; possibly Manhunter; Extrano; Ice; indistinct blue figure; Aquaman; Hal Jordan. Comparing the positions of the characters here with where they were in the splash page above, it seems they’re moving around a lot – both Martian Manhunter and Hal Jordan were well in front of Aquaman.

Page 7 – Panel 5: Superman arrives to reveal the details of the ceasefire he struck with the Alien Alliance.

Page 8 – Panels 1 to 4: Superman’s recording of the brief negotiations as mentioned in First Strike.

Page 8 – Panels 5 and 6: Max Lord wonders what the end game of the Alien Alliance is.

Page 9 – Panel 1: Robotman on the left, Lodestone behind him, both members of the Doom Patrol.

Page 9 – Panel 3: Captain Atom reveals the existence of the Starlag space prison/experimentation craft.

Page 10 – Panel 2: Not a clue Beetle

Page 9 – Panel 5: From left to right, Wonder Woman; Aqualad; Flash; Adam Strange. Once again, the positions of these characters bear no resemblance to those on Page 6.

Page 10 – Panel 2: Negative Woman; Mr Miracle; Blue Beetle; Booster Gold. Beetle’s a smart guy so needing a reason why not to use nuclear weapons to be pointed out to him seems wrong.

Page 10 – Panel 4: Manhunter; Obsidian; Firestorm; and Floronic Man.

Page 10 – Panel 6: Nuklon; Guy Gardner; Dove; and Hawkman.

Page 11 – Panels 3 and 4: The initial invasion was covered, of course, in the previous issue, as was the ejection of Garguax from his moonbase.

Page 11 – Panel 6: Left to right are G’nort; Nuklon; Nightshade; Rocket Red; RAM; Gloss; unknown; Batman; and Harbinger. Sure, it makes for a more dramatic pose, but why is Batman’s cape flapping about in this enclosed space but Gloss’s hair isn’t affected?

Page 12 – Panel 2: Amanda Waller’s solution to the lack of heroes, is to draft the super-villains – something she’s been doing since the creation of the Suicide Squad in LEGENDS.

Page 12 – Panel 3: Using a combination of the squad and the JLI database, they should be able to catch and recruit the villains.

Page 14 – Panels 1 to 3: The Dominators are, unsurprisingly, double crossing their allies.

Page 15: This page takes place in Australia with the Khund commander reviewing the current status. Where needed, the panels point readers to the relevant issue as detailed in First Strike. The only character appearance is Tasmanian Devil in Panel 6.

Page 16 – Panel 1: The Khund commader, seated.

Page 17: The commander flies above the Alliance base in the ruins of Melbourne.

Page 20: The heroes attack!

Page 18 – Panel 5: A Dominator reminds the commander that the cease fire ends at “0800 Earth time” – is that GMT? Pacific Time? Australian time? Whenever it ends, it’s currently still in effect.

Page 19 – Panel 3: However, the commander learns that the Earth forces have jumped the gun, attacking “an hour early” – so 0700 Earth time.

Page 20: The heroes attack! At the top is Superman; to the left (as we look at the page) is Hal Jordan; below him is Firestorm; to the right of him is Martian Manhunter; to the right of him is Starman. Back to the left of the page, below Firestorm, is Hawkgirl; to the right of her is Hawkman; to the right of him is Guy Gardner; to the right of him is Negative Woman. Back to the left and below the Hawks is Mr Miracle; to the right of him is Booster Gold; below him is Firehawk.

Page 21 – Panel 2: Left to right are Big Barda; Blue Beetle; and Mr Miracle.

Page 21 – Panel 3: Creeper; the Atom (just above Creeper’s foot); Fire; Peacemaker.

Page 22 – Panel 1: The Daxamite contingent of the Alliance.

Page 22 – Panel 3: The Daxamites discovered in the previous issue that under Earth’s yellow sun they, like Kryptonians, develop super powers. However, they are observers in the conflict.

Page 22 – Panel 4: Though should they need to, they will defend themselves against Superman.

Page 23 – Panel 3: The Atlantean forces prepare to attack. At the far left is Vulko; working clockwise around the table are Aquaman; Dane Dorrance; Lodestone; Aqualad; and Robotman.

Page 24 – Panel 1: “Arani’s sacrifice” refers to the death of Celsius in DOOM PATROL #17 as shown in First Strike.

Page 24 – Panel 6: The Gil’ Dishpan speaks too soon.

Page 25 – Panel 1: Toward the top left is Robotman; then Lori Lemaris; then Scott Fisher; below Lori is Aquaman.

Page 26 – Panel 1: Left to right are Negative Woman; Tempest; and Aquaman.

Page 27 – Panel 2: Back in Australia we have Hal Jordan and his power ring’s weakness to yellow.

Page 27 – Panel 3: Luckily Firestorm’s around to give him a hand.

Page 27 – Panel 5: Mr Miracle; Blue Beetle; and Big Barda. The Boom Tube Barda mentions is an interdimensional gateway that they can use to teleport from one place to another.

Page 31 – Panel 6: Deadman speaks

Page 28 – Panels 1 and 2: Superman is approached by the Daxamites.

Page 28 – Panel 4: And is knocked clean into the sky by one of them before the fight continues over the next couple of pages.

Page 31 – Panel 3: Back with the Dominator and Khund commander; the “Cuban fiasco” was covered in First Strike.

Page 31 – Panel 6: The Dominator insults the commander; note the aura around the Dominator which implies that’s actually Deadman taking control of the alien.

Page 31 – Panel 8: The Dominator’s confusion backs this up.

Page 32 – Panel 2: One of the heroes has apparently been captured . . .

Page 32 – Panel 4: . . . and it’s the Flash who is about to be dissected, which is a surprise as we haven’t seen him being captured.

Page 33 – Panels 2 to 5: However, this Flash is clearly a decoy implanted with a bomb that explodes, causing massive damage to the starbase.

Page 34 – Panel 2: The metal hand here belongs to . . .

Page 34 – Panel 3: . . . Lex Luthor, the creator of the recently exploded Flash-Bomb. At this point, Luthor had lost his hand due to Kryptonite radiation poisoning stemming from a Kyrptonite ring he had worn to protect himself from Superman.

Page 34 – Panels 4 and 5: Despite the apparent effectiveness of the bombs, the Army General decides not to do business with Luthor any longer.

Page 35: The Daxamites’ attack on Superman comes to an end when they suddenly lose their powers and fall back to Earth from 50,000 feet.

Page 36: Khund reinforcements are attacked by . . .

Page 37 – Panel 1: . . . Captain Boomerang and . . .

Page 37 – Panel 2: . . . Nemesis along with . . .

Page 37 – Panel 3: . . . the rest of the Suicide Squad. In the air, from the top down, are Nightshade; possibly Killer Moth; Black Orchid; an unknown silhouette. On the ground, left to right, are Heat Wave; Ambush Bug; Captain Boomerang; Duchess; and Nemesis.

Page 39 – Panels 3 and 4: Superman shows he’s a good guy

Page 38 – Panels 1 to 4: The Khund commander has been ordered to return to the moon, a move that’s observed by . . .

Page 39 – Panel 1: . . . Superman who has brought the Daxamites into space.

Page 39 – Panel 3: With the Daxamites returned to the atmosphere, they and Superman are able to have a conversation where they realise they may be on the wrong side in this war.

Page 40 – Panel 1: Captain Atom and General Eiling summarise the situation.

Page 40 – Panel 4: Amanda Waller and Oberon bring news of the Khund’s retreat from Australia.

Page 42 – Panel 1: One of the captions reads “Earth-vectors established. E.T.A. fifteen parxats” – why is everything except the unit of time in English?

Page 42 – Panel 2: This is the Dominator we last saw in the previous issue who wished to tell his superiors of his experiment and was silenced for his impudence. As the caption says, Dominators have no name but for these annotations, I will refer to him as Derek.

Page 43: Derek has discovered the metagene, the trigger that causes humans to develop super powers. This would be established throughout the DCU from this time onward and many superheroes and villains afterwards would trace their powers back to the activation of that gene that turned them into metahumans.

Page 43: Derek and the Metagene

Page 44 – Panel 1: And Derek, being a Dominator, definitely doesn’t want more superhumans so has discovered how to negate it.

Page 44 – Panel 2: He has created a Gene-Bomb which is going to be important shortly.

Page 45 – Panel 2: The real Flash – not the bomb decoy from Luthor back on Page 32 – is still in Cuba.

Page 45 – Panel 4: The Durlans who had been impersonating Cuban officials as shown in First Strike.

Page 46 – Panel 5: Manhunter fires at the fleeing Durlans, herding them according to some plan.

Page 47 – Panel 1: Watching the Durlans retreat to their base is Rudy West, father of the Flash.

Page 47 – Panel 2: Rudy was a Manhunter as seen in the pages of MILLENNIUM; the debt he mentions is due to his activities while he belonged to that group.

Page 47 – Panels 4 and 5: There’s clearly a bomb on the Durlan base and Rudy sacrifices himself to set it off.

Page 48 – Panel 1: The Durlan ship explodes.

Page 48 – Panel 2: Superman – in the centre – and the Daxamites are fired up by the Alien Alliance.

Page 49 – Panel 1: Superman mentions a JLI contingent on the moon.

Page 49 – Panel 4: Beneath Green Lantern’s force bubble, on the left, is Firestorm, and on the right Martian Manhunter.

Page 50 – Panel 1: Meeting on the moon

Page 50 – Panel 1: On the left of Firestorm is Hal Jordan, and on the right Guy Gardner.

Page 50 – Panel 4: Presumably Superman has shared the knowledge of the Daxamite’s vulnerability with Hal Jordan, or else he knows of it through the Green Lantern Corps.

Page 50 – Panel 5: One of the Daxamites has sacrificed himself to get a message to Daxam.

Page 50 – Panel 6: That message has been received by Daxam but what it is, and the ramifications of it, will be covered later.

Page 51 – Panel 4: In Moscow are Ram and Bronze Tiger.

Page 51 – Panel 5: Gloss, Ram’s partner in the New Guardians.

Page 52 – Panel 1: In the foreground is Rocket Red; in the background Shade the Changing Man.

Page 52 – Panel 2: Left to right are Captain Atom; Max Lord; General Eiling; Oberon; and Amanda Waller.

Page 53 – Panel 3: This, presumably, is the Khund commander who was ordered to return to the moon back on Page 38.

Page 53 – Panel 4: The commander clearly doesn’t trust the Dominators.

Page 54 – Panel 1: Back at the Starlag prison, there’s a riot going on.

Page 55 – Panel 1: Vril Dox . . .

Page 55 – Panel 2: . . . who has teamed up with a Durlan.

Page 55 – Panel 4: And the reasons for the Durlan helping him are to be revealed in LEGION ’89 which, at the time of INVASION #2, had yet to be published.

Page 55 – Panel 6: On the left is Tigorr, on the right Garryn Bek.

Page 56 – Panel 1: The Omega Men

Page 56 – Panel 1: Left to right are: Doc; Kalista; Primus; Garryn Bek; Broot (in the background); Lyrissa Mallor; Elu (the glowing ball in front of Lyrissa); possibly Carlotta Rivera; Moshe Levy (the child in front of her); Tigorr; an unknown grey hulking figure; and behind him is Harpis (you can make out her blue wings)

Page 56 – Panels 3 and 4: Dox’s plan isn’t liked by Bek!

Page 57 – Panel 5: Top left is Harpis; bottom right are Carlotta Rivera and, above her, Amos Monroe. Both Carlotta and Amos (and Moshe) were among the survivors of the Dominators’ first experiment to trigger the superhuman powers of ordinary humans as seen in the previous issue.

Page 58 – Panel 3: The big pane of glass is Dexter Fletcher, another survivor of the first experiment.

Page 58 – Panel 4: The whirling Dust Devil in the top right is Moshe; below him is Doc, and Fritz Klein who appears to have grown a moustache since the previous issue.

Page 59 – Panel 1: Kalista and Elu watch as Primus is gunned down.

Page 59 – Panel 2: Broot carries Kalista on his shoulder.

Page 61: The Daxamites, presumably called by the message sent on Page 50, have arrived.

Page 62 – Panels 1 to 4: Pretty self-explanatory; the message sent to Daxam has clearly convinced the other Daxamites that Earth and its people are worth saving.

Page 62 – Panel 5: Max Lord, Captain Atom, Oberon, and Amanda Waller receive the message.

Page 63 – Panels 1 to 3: The Khund know the danger the newly power Daxamites present, though it’s surprising that information never reached the Dominators.

Page 64 – Panel 1: The Daxamite leader; Superman; Firestorm; Guy Gardner.

Page 67 – Panel 1: The tide turns

Page 64 – Panel 2: Martian Manhunter behind the Daxamite.

Page 64 – Panel 4: The only character not yet noted on this page is Hal Jordan who is directly beneath Firestorm.

Page 66 – Panel 2: The first sight of the Thanagarian contingent we’ve had this issue.

Page 67 – Panel 2: Starman and Wonder Woman helpfully introduce themselves.

Page 67 – Panel 3: In the top left is Vikhor of the Soyuz team; just to the right of him can be seen a couple of Rocket Reds.

Page 68 – Panel 1: Blue Beetle; Big Barda; Mr Miracle.

Page 68 – Panel 2: Nightshade and Black Orchid.

Page 70 – Panels 1 to 3: A message is broadcast that appears to reveal the real reason for the invasion.

Page 71 – Panels 4 to 6: While most of the Alliance has surrendered, the Khund and Dominion keep fighting.

Page 72 – Panels 1 to 4: The Dominion plan to trigger some form of self destruct that will slaughter Earth and its heroes, rather than surrender.

Page 72 – Panel 5: However, the hand presses the button to surrender. Note the glow around it.

Page 73 – Panels 1 and 2: The Khund commander kills the Dominators, convinced they lacked the courage to carry out their plan.

Page 74 – Panels 1 to 3: Not how he planned to end the day

Page 74 – Panels 1 to 3: Despite his intention to destroy the Earth, the Khund commander halts, puts a gun to his head, and pulls the trigger.

Page 74 – Panel 4: All this has been the work of Deadman.

Page 75: The Alliance surrenders and the invasion is over.

Page 76 – Panel 1: The abbreviated quote comes from King Pyrrhus whose name gave rise to the phrase Pyrrhic Victory, one in which the winning side suffers such great losses that should they be attacked again, they could not win a second time.

Page 76 – Panel 7: Ram and Floronic Man in Moscow.

Page 76 – Panel 8: Starman in the South Pacific.

Page 77 – Panel 2: Captain Atom.

Page 77 – Panel 7: Robotman and Aquaman.

Page 78 – Panel 1: Captain Atom, as leader of Earth’s military, addresses the United Nations.

Page 80 – Panel 1: The JLI contingent from the moon return: Firestorm; Martian Manhunter; Hal Jordan; and Guy Gardner.